Curriculum in the PYP

Learning the ways in which you learn

The PYP generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to foster a lifelong love of learning in every child. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while investigating big ideas.


The Core Subjects

Students learn about significant concepts (or, big ideas) through Units of Inquiry. In total, there are six Unit of Inquiry themes that are examined in one school year. Click here to learn about each of the themes.

While exploring the unit’s central idea, students learn specific elements from the core subjects – language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, french, physical education, art, and music – and form their own connections between what they are learning and how it relates to the world around them; in essence, students don’t just learn, they learn how to learn.

At Meadowridge Units of Inquiry are formed to teach the whole child. Our PYP teachers design units in which lessons, experiences, and activities teach students what they ought to understand (concepts), do (approaches to learning), feel (attitudes), have knowledge (think), and act (actions). These are the five essential elements that Meadowridge teachers plan in their Units of Inquiry.



A Unit of Inquiry Across the PYP

Bringing it all together: A PYP Unit of Inquiry at Meadowridge

Click below to see what a unit of inquiry looks like for our PYP learners. Notice how the units of inquiry, while same from grade-to-grade, develop naturally, tackling greater issues requiring greater depth and breadth as our learners – and their knowledge – grow. As students advance, so too do the concepts explored in the unit.

Please note that the IB PYP Framework is currently being updated and the BC Education Plan has been redeveloped. Our samples below reflect what we have done in the past and are for example purposes only.


Example of a Unit of Inquiry Grade-to-Grade

How the World Works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.


Junior Kindergarten

How the World Works*

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Junior Kindergarten


Learner Profile Focus

Thinker, Inquirer, Knowledgeable


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Understanding how the mechanics of movement enables transport systems.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • The kinds of transportation people use and need
  • Why we make journeys
  • Transportation in our community


Concepts

Function, Form

Kindergarten

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Kindergarten


Learner Profile Focus

Knowledgeable, Communicator


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Living things need and share water.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • The movement of water
  • Uses of water
  • Caring for our water sources


Concepts

Reflection, Form, Function


Approaches to Learning

Appreciation, Curiosity


Action

Students will author their own books about fresh water

Who lives there? Describe shelter and home. Where does it fit in the water cycle? Where does it come from, where was it before it was a puddle, where will it go after, who used it? And or How plants use water hydration? How much water the human body is made of, plants have cells, water provides nutrition, minerals in the water, animals need it to survive, water restriction in some places. Plants need water to grow and provide food for humans.


Learning Experiences

  • Knowledge: books, discussions, listening to sounds of animals
  • Comprehension: Categorize the groups
  • Writing skills: Animal and water fact booklets, story responses
  • Presenting research findings through their water book


Curricular Focuses

Language Arts
Mathematics
French
Art
Social Responsibility
Information and Communication Technology

Grade 1

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Grade 1


Learner Profile Focus

Thinker, Inquirer, Knowledgeable


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Our place in the universe gives us a unique perspective of the sky.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • Identifies characteristics of objects in the sky and their movement
  • Describes how natural cycles affect living things
  • Explores how perspectives create unique stories
  • Analyzes the patterns observed through data collection


Approaches to Learning

  • Research Skills: observing, collecting, recording and interpreting data
  • Communication Skills: reading, writing and speaking
  • Thinking Skills: acquisition of knowledge, synthesis

Action

Children will think of others who do not have the appropriate seasonal clothing by bringing in donations for the clothing drive. Students are also encouraged to bring in donations for the can drive.


Learning Experiences

  • Field Trip to the Apple Barn and Pumpkin Patch
  • Partake in various outdoor activities for “Take Me Outside Day”
  • Observe our Class Tree
  • Outdoor exploration and Art time
  • Art activities relating to the changing seasons
  • Interviewing people to gather data about cyclical changes
  • Synthesizing the data to make sense of why cyclical changes occur

Grade 2

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Grade 2


Learner Profile Focus

Thinker, Inquirer, Knowledgeable


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

The inquiry process allows us to explore changes in our world.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • Use senses to make observations and to predict outcomes
  • Identifies the properties of solids, liquids and gases
  • Demonstrates an understanding of how matter can be changed

Approaches to Learning

  • Social Skills: Cooperating
  • Communication Skills: Listening and Speaking
  • Research Skills: Formulating Questions, Observing, Collecting Data
  • Self-Management Skills: Organization


Action

To be determined by students


Learning Experiences

  • Science Experiments: Oobleck, baking soda/vinegar and more!
  • Lab Reports: POE (Predict, Observe, Explain)
  • Investigating natural and human made changes in matter
  • Science World Field Trip

Grade 3

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Grade 3


Learner Profile Focus

Thinker, Reflective, Knowledgeable


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Societies and technological advances impact the design of structures.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • Structures change over time
  • Structural design
  • Impact of structures from different viewpoints


Concepts

Reflection, Change, Perception


Approaches to Learning

  • Thinking Skills: acquisition of knowledge, analysis and synthesis
  • Social Skills: group-decision making, cooperating
  • Communication Skills: viewing, listening
  • Self-management Skills: spatial awareness, fine motor skills
  • Research Skills: observing, recording, interpreting data


Action

Students will work through the process of designing and constructing their own structures. Students will have an opportunity to check their designs with a guest Structural Engineer.


Learning Experiences


Curricular Focuses

Language Arts
Mathematics
French
Art
Social Responsibility
Information and Communication Technology

Grade 4

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Grade 4


Learner Profile Focus

Thinker, Inquirer, Knowledgeable


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Our understanding of different sources of energy and transformation allows us to make responsible conservation choices.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • The different forms of energy
  • Identifies devices that transform energy
  • Energy conservation


Approaches to Learning

  • Communications Skills: Reading, writing, viewing
  • Research Skills: Collecting, recording, organizing, and interpreting data
  • Self-Management Skills: Organization


Action

To be determined by students


Learning Experiences

  • Reading and interpreting weather maps
  • Collecting weather data and graphing information
  • Guest speaker to present information about how weather affects pilots and planes
  • Observe how weather affects living and non-living things
  • Learning how to prepare for different forms of extreme weather

Grade 5

How the World Works

Example of a Unit of Inquiry in Grade 5


Learner Profile Focus

Reflective, Caring, Open-minded


Central Idea (What is our focus?)

Geographic and demographic factors affect the access and the distribution of resources.


Lines of Inquiry (What will we learn about?)

  • The factors that affect the access to resources.
  • How our daily choices affect how we obtain, consume and deplete (natural or man-made) resources.
  • Our shared responsibility for the equitable distribution and sustainability of resources.


Concepts

Change, Perspective, Responsibility


Approaches to Learning

  • Thinking: Metacognition, Analysis, Evaluation, Dialectical Thought
  • Communication: Writing, Presenting
  • Self-Management: Organization, Informed choices, Healthy Lifestyle
  • Research: Formulating Questions, Planning, Collecting Data, Interpreting Data
  • Social: Cooperating, Accepting responsibility, Group Decision-Making


Action

  • Brochure and presentation on finite resource.
  • Creative writing story that demonstrates an understanding of the central idea.


Learning Experiences


Curricular Focuses

Language Arts
Mathematics
French
Art
Social Responsibility
Information and Communication Technology

Meadowridge & the British Columbia Curriculum

Along with a full International Baccalaureate Continuum education, BC Ministry of Education outcomes are integrated into the Units of Inquiry at each grade level.

How the PYP Works

The transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiry. Teachers work together to develop investigations into important ideas, which require a substantial and high level of involvement on the part of students.


Did You Know...

Meadowridge has been an authorized IB Primary Years Programme World School since 2007.

In fact, Meadowridge is one of a handfull of schools in British Columbia to offer all three of the IB programmes (PYP, MYP, DP)